‘It’s beautiful to see.’ Bridgeport man recovering from a near-death motorcycle crash
A Bridgeport man has been on the road to recovery ever since a motorcycle crash left him facing harsh odds.
“The last thing I remember was thinking that I was in trouble, that I had messed up,” said Chris Rivera, of Bridgeport.
The 29-year-old was riding down Route 8 in 2022 when he rear-ended another vehicle. He was thrown from his bike and suffered serious injuries including a shattered pelvis.
“I couldn’t move my legs,” said Rivera. “Both of my arms were in a cast. I still didn’t realize how serious the accident was until a couple of weeks [after].”
Rivera was taken to St. Vincent’s Medical Center as a high priority trauma patient. Shortly after arriving, his heart stopped. He was revived by the team led by Dr. Shawna Kettyle, a trauma surgeon at St. Vincent’s Medical Center.
“Trauma is a team sport, but I’m the one that feels the ultimate responsibility if we can save somebody or not,” said Kettyle.
Kettyle said she wasn’t sure if Rivera would recover from his injuries. Luckily, he did.
“I still don’t understand it…I really couldn’t believe it. I wanted to see Dr. Kettyle, I basically told her, ‘Thank you for saving my life.’” said Rivera. “I couldn’t ever repay her.”
A year-and-a-half later, he’s almost back to living a full life. He’s been able to travel with family and get back to work again.
“Being able to go outside and move around – you really lose the sense of the small things in life,” said Rivera. “It really made me a lot more appreciative.”
“It’s beautiful to see,” said Kettyle.
Rivera said he will forever be grateful for what the hospital staff did for him, and he hopes that one day he can get back on his motorcycle.
“You always know that there’s a chance that it could happen, but I never thought it would happen to me,” said Rivera.